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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Short Change Hero

Heh, Mana Bar dress code.

The only thing I did this week that was worthy of a small mention here on my blog is that I visited Melbourne's Mana Bar. Pretty small place, a lot smaller than I had imagined but a pretty awesome venue nonetheless. The drinks were pretty expensive though which has discouraged me from ever buying another drink there. The main draw of the bar though is the fact that it's basically a free arcade, haha. My and my mates pretty much sat around playing Super Smash Bros Brawl and Super Street Fighter 4. Kinda makes me want a Wii just for SSBB.


This week's title is brought to you by The Heavy. I've just gotten into them recently and am loving them to bits. If you're a fan of The Black Keys give these guys a try - they have a pretty similar sound!



The second of Yoji Yamada's "Samurai" trilogy, "The Hidden Blade", much like "The Twilight Samurai" before it, garnered much praise and was nominated for 12 Japanese Academy Awards (although unlike "The Twilight Samurai" only walked away with one award). The film follows Munezo Katagiri (Masatoshi Nagase) a former samurai warrior caught up in a time where the age of the samurai is no longer required and that the power of economy proves superior to the power of the sword. The film bears heavy resemblance to it's predecessor both in tone and in plot however, unlike it's predecessor, never quite amounts to the nuances of "The Twilight Samurai". Some of the story beats mirror that of "The Twilight Samurai" (it's eluded in the film that Katagiri and Seibei Iguchi learned from the same master.) It never hits that heightened level of emotional resonance and thus, feels like a film that's less personal and intimate. The story of the film, is more or less, an alternate version of the "The Twilight Samurai". The film does have it's quietly profound moments of course, but they're often subdued by the other ongoing subplots in the film (ones involving the major change Japan was going through at the time). I would have to say that I was quite disappointed with this film after having expectations raised quite highly due to the superb "The Twilight Samurai" but "The Hidden Blade" falls short of my expectations. At least it didn't have a "forcefully beaten over the head" ballad-type song playing out during the ending.


After watching "The Hidden Blade", I was hoping that "Love and Honor", the third and final installment in Yoji Yamada's "Samurai" trilogy, would raise my spirits. "Love and Honor" is about a samurai, Shinnojo Mimura (Takuya Kimura), who works in his clan's castle as a food taster for the lord of the clan. His job is dull but earns him enough money to get by for he and his wife. However, after an unfortunate taste test one day, Mimura becomes blind, thus forcing him out of his job and being left in the care of his wife, Kayo (Rei Dan). What I liked about this film was that it wasn't similar to the other two films at all. Sure, it was similar in style and tone but the story and characters were completely different which is nice. This time around, the story is more grounded on the relationship between our two leads Shinnojo and Kayo. The characters develop well - Mimura having to deal with his new found blindness and having his entire life change and Kayo having to defend the honour of her husband by not only taking care of him but also having to do what is necessary to keep some form of income and compensation coming in. A much better film than "The Hidden Blade" I feel with interestingly flawed characters.



Big news this week as Ridley Scott looks like he's ready to return to the world of "Blade Runner". Alcon Entertainment acquired the rights to "Blade Runner" and are hoping to expand further as there is much in the world of "Blade Runner" that can be explored. No word yet as to whether or not Harrison Ford will return for any of the new set of films. I personally love this and think that a new "Blade Runner" film would look exceptional what with today's technological advancements in film and all. It's exciting news but one that most people, understandably, looking at with much trepidation.


In other news, Bradley Cooper's been dropped from the remake of "The Crow" (why remake this movie?) and in his place stand two leading contenders, Mark Whalberg and Channing Tatum. Wait what? Okay, this piece of potential casting news is really bugging me. I actually would've been fine with Cooper as The Crow (wouldn't have been happy with it but was willing to tolerate it). The other two? Not so much. Whalberg's screen presence in films doesn't really connect well for character, nor does Channing Tatum's (who, physically doesn't look anything like what you'd expect from The Crow.) Come on now, we've had to suffer through three horrible sequels - let's not put the nail in the coffin by seriously suggesting them for the part.


This next video isn't so much "newsworthy" but is fun to watch. Hell, it may even prove to be informative! It's 6 minute and 24 second video highlighting 25 of the greatest unscripted scenes in movie history (at least according to this editor/uploader). I actually had no idea that the line, "Warriors, come out and play!" was unscripted. It's great to see how some of these unscripted lines have gone on to become classic quotes.


And that's it this week. Hey... where's Wall-E, everyone?

End post.

1 comment:

  1. We should go have fried chicken and beer sometimes...and might i add how excited i am for a new Blade'll just be so mind-blowing with the effects we can do nowadays! >___<